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Pregnancy Ultrasounds for Assessing Your Baby’s Growth Health

Pregnancy Ultrasounds: A Useful Tool for Assessing Your Baby’s Growth and Health

Pregnancy is both a joyous and worrisome time. The discovery of pregnancy brings intense joy to parents, other family members, and friends. But at the same time, it can give rise to worries regarding the health of mother and baby. Pregnancy ultrasounds are the best way to assess the baby’s growth and health and to examine the mother’s reproductive organs. For a safe and worry-free pregnancy ultrasound experience, you must visit a renowned prenatal ultrasonography diagnostic centre in your area. Here a trained and highly qualified sonographic technologist will perform the ultrasound.

How do ultrasounds work

Ultrasound scanning is an imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the body’s internal organs. It is also called sonography.   

A transducer or probe emitting ultrasound waves is used to perform an ultrasound. The probe is placed on the skin after coating it with a thin, conductive gel layer. The gel’s coating allows the waves to pass smoothly through the skin. The emitted ultrasound waves are projected on certain body parts which reflect them. Computer software interprets the information from reflected ultrasound waves and turns them into visible images. The info gets formed as per the strength of reflected waves and the time they take to return.  

Ultrasound imaging holds these advantages over other imaging techniques: –

  1. Ultrasounds provide real-time visualization of the fetus or organs. 
  2. They are non-invasive. 
  3. They do away with the need to use ionization radiation known to cause toxic effects on the embryo.
  4. Ultrasounds provide an interactive experience, and this is because they enable the ultra-sonographer to capture different viewing images by moving the probe.   

To assess your baby’s health and growth following ultrasound options are available to you-

2D Ultrasound  

A 2D ultrasound is a traditional ultrasound scanning that is two-dimensional. This scanning sends and receives ultrasound waves in a single plane. The waves that get reflected then provide a flat black and white image of the fetus through that plane. It is a basic image that outlines the organs inside the body. The image obtained is not true to life, but still, it is clear for doctors to detect and diagnose certain medical issues. Doctors use this ultrasound to measure the baby’s head, stomach and leg size. Moreover, they use ultrasound to monitor the heart rate and movement of the baby. In short, a 2D ultrasound is useful for a detailed evaluation of fetal anatomy and morphology.

3D Ultrasound]

3D ultrasounds provide three-dimensional static images of the inside of the body. They are obtained by piecing together multiple two-dimensional images taken at various angles. These ultrasounds visualize fetal structures and the internal anatomy as static 3D images.  

A 4D ultrasound is a 3D ultrasound but in a live motion. It allows doctors to see what is happening inside your body in real-time. For example, it can show how blood flows through the aorta and surrounding blood vessels. You can have a 4D ultrasound during the middle or end of your pregnancy to check for any abnormalities. Also, the ultrasound can show your baby’s activities like yawning, kicking, etc. They will help to provide you with a positive bonding experience.   

Side Effects of Ultrasound 

When used for diagnostic purposes, ultrasound imaging can cause cavitation or small gas pockets in the tissues. Also, ultrasounds can produce slight heating of the tissue. But medical professionals have not witnessed any significant health consequences from their use.

To have a safe and memorable pregnancy ultrasound experience, you need to get it done by a highly qualified California sonographic technologist at DigiBaby. It is an established diagnostic center for pregnancy ultrasonography in California with latest imaging equipment and expert medical professionals. But before booking an appointment to undergo any of the above elective ultrasounds, you need to do one thing. You should consult its medical experts regarding the ultrasound. You should ask them about its benefits, advantages, preparation measures, time spent, etc. The experts will provide you a useful advice about these aspects. Also, they will give you thoroughly enjoyable and safe imaging and baby viewing experience whose memories you will cherish forever.

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Benefits and Risks of Ultrasound in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time for parents and others in the family. But at the same time, it can fill them with uncertainty and anxiety regarding their baby’s health. Here ultrasounds can prove helpful in monitoring the health and development of the growing baby. Also known as sonography, ultrasound is an imaging method that utilizes sound waves to produce images of organs or structures within the body. These images get displayed on an instrument called sonograph that turns sound into graphics. The images obtained from an ultrasound can provide valuable information to medical professionals for diagnosing various diseases and conditions and directing treatment for them.

You, too, may want to go for an ultrasound to check and assess your baby’s development, but something is holding you back from getting it done. You are not sure whether there are any benefits of doing an ultrasound. But more than that, you fear that the ultrasound may harm your baby. 

Let us shed some light on the various benefits of ultrasounds in pregnancy and their risks. It will help you make the right and informed decision accordingly. 

Benefits

  • Ultrasound is a non-invasive and painless procedure, and it helps to confirm and ensure that you are pregnant. 
  • It enables doctors to check your baby’s age and growth, which helps them make out your due date.
  • The ultrasound enables doctors to check your baby’s muscle tone, heartbeat, movement, and overall development.  
  • It helps them check if you are pregnant with twins, triplets, or more babies. It also enables them to identify other situations like placenta previa. The presence of twins or a placenta previa is a high-risk situation that can be dangerous for both mothers and babies. Placenta previa occurs when a baby’s placenta covers the mother’s cervix partially or totally. Placenta previa may lead to a significant maternal hemorrhage. So, the doctor may accordingly advise you to choose a hospital over a birth center or home birth for your delivery.  
  • The ultrasound enables doctors to check if your baby lies in the heads-first position before birth. 
  • With the help of the ultrasound, doctors can examine your ovaries and uterus (womb). Ovaries are the glands where eggs are stored. 
  • The ultrasound is also used to screen for congenital disabilities like spina bifida or heart defects. Also, it helps with other prenatal tests like chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis. Congenital disabilities are those health conditions that a baby has at birth. Congenital disabilities alter the shape or function of one or more body parts, and they can affect the overall health in terms of how the body develops or functions.
  • The ultrasound is also helpful in checking pregnancy complications like molar pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, and miscarriage.
  • It grants parents the opportunity to see their child and perhaps discover its sex. 

 Let us now share with you various risks associated with sonography.

The opinion of doctors varies regarding the risks associated with the conduction of ultrasounds during pregnancy. Some doctors say ultrasounds during pregnancy are safe for mother and baby when done by a qualified and experienced health care provider. They say ultrasounds use sound waves instead of radiation, so they are safer than x-rays.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Food and Drug Administration, and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine have a word of caution for parents. They recommend parents against taking 3-D or 4-D ultrasound at commercial keepsake ultrasound centers. The people performing these ultrasounds may not have done medical training and may provide you with wrong or even harmful information. 

Jacques S. Abramowicz, MD has also provided his research findings regarding the risks of pregnancy ultrasounds that were published in PubMed. Dr. Abramowicz is associated with the Department of Ob/Gyn, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine and Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. According to him, there is a general belief that a diagnostic ultrasound does not pose any threat to the pregnant patient or her fetus. Despite that, ultrasound is a form of energy and shows effects on biological tissues it passes through (bioeffects). The physical mechanisms causing these effects are thermal or non-thermal (mechanical). It is the role of science to show if any of these bio effects may be harmful.

So, your medical practitioner can better guide and educate you on any risks of the ultrasound procedure during your pregnancy. Therefore, it would help if you talk to the practitioner in this regard before undergoing an ultrasound. 

Can ultrasounds find every problem?

If you have a healthy pregnancy, an ultrasound is good at ruling out problems, but it cannot find every problem. It may miss some congenital disabilities. Sometimes, a routine ultrasound may suggest a congenital disability while it is not there in reality. Such false results of ultrasounds can cause worry to parents. 

Ultrasound scans are not 100 percent accurate. If they suggest any medical condition in the child, follow-up tests need to be conducted to confirm the condition or rule it out. 

How many ultrasounds will you have during your pregnancy?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) currently suggests that pregnant women should have at least one ultrasound exam during pregnancy. It is performed between 18 and 22 weeks of gestation. This ultrasound allows doctors to look for abnormal fetal development or other problems with the uterus, placenta, or amniotic fluid. 

Different kinds of ultrasound

Ultrasounds are of different kinds. The kind of ultrasound performed on you depends on what your doctor is checking for and how far you have reached in pregnancy. All ultrasounds are done through a transducer tool, which uses sound waves to create pictures of your baby on a computer screen (sonograph)

These are the most common kinds of ultrasound- 

Transabdominal ultrasound

In this ultrasound, the patient is made to lay on his back on an examination table and the doctor or technician covers the belly with a thin layer of gel. The gel helps make the sound waves move more easily, so a better picture can be captured. Then technician/doctor moves the transducer across the belly. The doctor may suggest you drink several glasses of water about 2 hours before the scan to have a full bladder during the ultrasound. A full bladder helps sound waves move more efficiently to get a better picture. This ultrasound does not cause any pain but may make you feel uncomfortable due to the full bladder. The duration of this ultrasound is around 20 minutes. 

Transvaginal ultrasound

This kind of ultrasound is performed through the vagina (birth canal). The patient is made to lay on her back on an examination table with her feet in stirrups. The technician moves a thin transducer shaped like a wand into the vagina. It shouldn’t cause you pain, but you may feel some pressure from the transducer. Your bladder needs to be empty or just partly complete for this procedure.

In some exceptional cases, your doctor may use the below-mentioned kinds of ultrasound to obtain more information about your baby.  

Doppler ultrasound

This kind of ultrasound is used for checking the baby’s flow if he is not growing naturally. A technician uses a transducer to listen to the baby’s heartbeat and measure the blood flow in the umbilical cord in some of the baby’s blood vessels. If an expectant mother has Rh (Rhesus) disease, a Doppler ultrasound may be required. In Rh disease, antibodies produced in the blood of a pregnant woman destroy the blood cells of her baby. If Rh blood condition is not treated, it can cause severe problems to your baby. Doppler ultrasound is generally used in the last trimester, but it may be performed earlier. 

3-D ultrasound 

This ultrasound captures thousands of pictures at once, and it makes a 3-D image that is nearly clear as a photograph. Some doctors use this type of ultrasound to check if your baby’s organs grow and develop normally. This ultrasound can also check the abnormalities in the baby’s face, and it can also be done to check for problems in the uterus. 

4-D ultrasound

This ultrasound is like a 3-D ultrasound, but it also shows the baby’s movements in a video. 

Now you better understand the benefits and risks associated with sonography and other related aspects. So you know what to expect in your pregnancy ultrasound. But to gain more knowledge about the risks, benefits, and other related facets of your pregnancy ultrasound, you need to talk with the concerned doctor.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for a reputed and trusted pregnancy ultrasound provider in Mesa, Arizona, you can rely on DigiBaby for the same. It has state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and expert doctors and technicians to provide you with a safe and enjoyable diagnostic experience. For obtaining more information about your ultrasound, get in touch with us at 480-259-4108.  

We also provide pregnancy ultrasound services in Woodridge, Illinois, and Livermore, California. 

A happy and exciting pregnancy ultrasound experience awaits you at DigiBaby, so don’t miss it.

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What Is An NT Scan? Why is it important to perform it between the 11th and 14th Week of Pregnancy?

What Is An NT Scan? Why is it important to perform it between the 11th and 14th Week of Pregnancy?

Discovering that you are pregnant gives rise to a myriad of emotions in you. You may feel intense joy at some moment, while at the other you may feel stressed, anxious or fearful of your baby’s health. You have very little control over your emotions, but you can’t take your baby’s health for granted. So you need to follow up with your doctor from time to time to monitor your and your’s unborn child’s health. Your doctor may recommend specific tests to check if you or your child is affected with a particular health condition.

Some of these tests are in the form of screenings, and these help doctors determine the amount of risk you or your child may have for a specific disease. Screenings can help to identify problems like anemia or gestational diabetes in women. Whereas in unborn children, these can help to detect the presence of chromosomal abnormalities.

The results obtained from these screenings can be positive or negative. A positive result does not ascertain that the child has a chromosomal abnormality. Similarly, a negative result does not guarantee that the unborn child does not have a chromosomal abnormality. Additional diagnostic tests like chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis must be performed to confirm whether the child has a chromosomal abnormality or not.

What is an NT Scan?

NT Scan, also known as the nuchal translucency test, is a screening test. Non-invasive in nature, it is performed to check the extent of risk (high or low) your child carries for a particular chromosomal abnormality.

NT Scan - Digibaby

NT scan is primarily used for assessing the risk for Down Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities like Edwards Syndrome and Patau Syndrome. Also, it helps to determine the risk for some structural problems like major congenital heart problems, abdominal wall and skeletal defects.

Babies born with Down syndrome contain an additional copy of chromosome 21, and this syndrome is incurable and causes developmental delays in them. Such babies have distinct physical characteristics like a small stature, eyes with an upward slant and a low muscle tone.

Edwards syndrome and Patau syndrome are rare chromosomal abnormalities and often prove fatal for babies. Unfortunately, most babies born with these abnormalities die within the first year of their life.

Ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves to create an image from inside the patient’s body. The nuchal translucency test also uses ultrasound to assess the risk for a medical condition.

All pregnant women are offered the NT scan along with a blood test as a part of first-trimester screening options. The first trimester starts on the first day of the last period and lasts till the end of the 13th week. Apart from the first trimester, screenings are also done in the second and third trimesters.

In an NT scan, a doctor or technician measures the clear (translucent) space in the tissue at the baby’s neck. This translucent space is the nuchal translucency. During the first trimester, babies having abnormalities tend to accumulate more fluid at the back of their neck, and as a result, this clear space becomes larger than average.

Apart from nuchal translucency, some doctors also look for the presence of the fetal nasal bone during the NT scan. If no nasal bone is visible in the developing baby, some experts believe this increases the chance of chromosomal abnormalities in the baby.

What is the right time for performing the NT Scan?

The NT scan must be conducted when a woman is between 11 and 14 weeks pregnant, and this is when the base of her baby’s neck is still transparent. The last day for doing this scan is when a woman is 13 weeks and six days pregnant.

How is the nuchal translucency test performed?

An NT scan requires no special preparation. In most cases, the scan gets completed in just 30 minutes. The doctor will recommend you drink water an hour before the procedure as ultrasound pictures are easier to read with a full bladder. The doctor will ask you to lie down on an exam table to perform the scan. After which, the sonographer will move an ultrasound wand over your stomach. Correspondingly, the pictures of the baby will become visible on the monitor.

The sonographer first confirms the baby’s gestational age by measuring him from crown to rump to see if his size fits the babies of his age. Then he positions the transducer (a sensor) over the abdomen. It shows the baby’s nuchal translucency on the monitor, and the sonographer uses calipers to measure its thickness on the screen.

You can get the results of the nuchal translucency test right away or you may have to wait for ten days if the doctor needs to send the data to a processing center.

How to Interpret NT Scan Results?

The doctor will use a computer program to calculate the amount of risk your growing child carries for a chromosomal abnormality. He will enter your age or date of birth in the program, and it will accordingly give the results.

The results will be in the form of a ratio that expresses the chances of your baby having a chromosomal defect. You will find it confusing to interpret the results yourself. So you are advised to talk to your doctor or a genetic counselor to grasp a better understanding of the results.

The doctor may also tell you that your results are normal or abnormal for a specific condition, depending on whether the ratio is below or above a particular cutoff.

A normal screening result (screen negative) does not guarantee that your child does not have a chromosomal abnormality. But it does suggest that the occurrence of a chromosomal problem is unlikely. Similarly, an abnormal screening result (screen positive) does not mean your baby carries a chromosomal problem, and it just indicates that your baby is more likely to have a problem. The majority of screen-positive babies don’t have a problem. Only one-third of babies with an increased translucency measurement are born with chromosomal defects.

What do doctors consider for calculating NT scan results?

Nuchal translucency measurement is not the sole factor that doctors consider for determining the result of the NT scan. They also consider other factors like the mother’s age, the baby’s gestational age, and the blood test results.

Although chromosomal abnormality can occur in the baby of any mother, the risk of its occurrence increases with the increased age of the mother. For example, if your age is 25 years, your baby’s risk of having Down Syndrome is 1 in 1,200, but if your age is 40 years, this risk increases to 1 in 100. Because of this, doctors consider mother’s age as one of the factors in determining NT scan results.

Is the Nuchal Translucency test accurate?

Like other screening tests, the nuchal translucency test is also not perfect, and it cannot detect all cases of Down Syndrome. The NT test provides both false-negative results and false-positive results.

A false-negative result identifies your baby as a low risk for Down Syndrome while he has this chromosomal condition.

A false-positive result suggests that your child is at increased risk for Down Syndrome or other conditions, but he has no problem.

What to do if your nuchal translucency test result indicates a problem?

After talking with your practitioner or genetic counselor, you can better understand whether your child is at an increased risk for a chromosomal condition.

If there is an increased risk, the next step is to get a diagnostic test like amniocentesis or CVS conducted. The diagnostic test is necessary to confirm a positive screening result for your baby and to obtain a definitive diagnosis.

A needle is inserted through the stomach into the amniotic sac to retrieve a fluid sample for the amniocentesis diagnostic test. Amniotic fluid contains cells that provide genetic information about the baby.

In CVS or chorionic villus sampling, a mother’s placental tissue sample is removed and tested for chromosomal abnormalities and genetic problems.

These diagnostic tests are more invasive and carry a small risk of miscarriage.

Suppose you decide against diagnostic testing. Then you can opt for NIPT, quad screen and detailed ultrasound to know more about your baby’s health and development. The NIPT is a blood test available to all pregnant women at the beginning of 10 weeks of pregnancy. The quad screen is a blood test performed in the second trimester, whereas a detailed ultrasound is performed in 18 to 20 weeks.

A detailed ultrasound can help detect soft markers of chromosomal disorders. Some of these markers are a bright bowel, a bright dot in the heart, short limbs and specific problems in the kidneys. This ultrasound can also be used for finding anatomical defects like spina bifida.

Is it mandatory to undergo the NT scan and diagnostic tests?

It is your discretion to go for the nuchal translucency scan or any diagnostic tests or ignore them altogether. You may choose one, two, or more tests out of all the tests offered to you during the pregnancy and avoid the rest.

By now, you may have understood the need to get the NT scan conducted on your growing baby. If you are keen to get this scan done in Livermore, California, DigiBaby is the place to go. We also provide this facility in Woodridge, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Our medical center is equipped with state-of-the-art pregnancy screening, diagnostic equipment, and expert medical professionals to provide you with a safe and satisfying medical experience during your pregnancy. Thus, making your journey to motherhood smooth and enjoyable.

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Does Skull Theory Help in Gender Prediction?

Does Skull Theory Help in Gender Prediction?

Pregnancy is a beautiful time in any woman’s life.When couples get to know of the pregnancy for the first time, they feel so joyous and excited. This feeling of ecstasy and excitement grips everyone in the family as well as their close circle of friends and acquaintances. They have hopes and dreams about the baby that they want to see in the future.

During your pregnancy, you may be eager to know your baby’s gender. So you may look for options that allows you to determine your baby’s gender in a safe, risk-free, and enjoyable way.

One such scientific-based option is the 20-week anatomy scan. It looks in detail at a baby’s face, brain, heart, bones, spinal cord, kidneys, and abdomen. It checks if the baby has any of the 11 medical conditions. Some of these conditions are cleft lip, gastroschisis, Edwards’ syndrome, and Patau syndrome. If you are keen to know your baby’s sex, you should tell the sonographer about this when he starts this scan. So he knows what he needs to check.

Some parents don’t want to wait that long, and they are looking for another method that lets them know their child’s sex earlier than the 20-week scan. So they may opt for the Skull Theory method.

What is the Skull Theory method? Is it a reliable and accurate method for baby sex determination?

Let us find out the answers to these questions mentioned above.

Skull theory believes that a baby’s gender can be accurately predicted before the 20th-week scan. By looking at earlier ultrasound images of the mother.

As per the theory, the skull shape and size can help to determine whether the baby will be a boy or girl.

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Nobody is aware of the source of origin of skull theory. But it is a popular discussion point among women on pregnancy forums. They ask fellow women to guess about their child’s sex after posting their earlier ultrasound images on them. The commenters may or may not be able to make the right guess.

When does the ultrasound for skull theory need to be conducted?

If you choose the skull theory before the 20-week anatomy ultrasound, you must ensure that your 12-week scans have a clear image.

But obtaining a very clear image can be difficult, and this is because the baby’s position in the womb at the time of the scan can impact how well the skull is visible.

As per skull theory proponents, a mother should try to get their baby positioned in profile so that it becomes possible to measure the skull from front to back. But anecdotal research indicates that even a clear ultrasound doesn’t always make it obvious whether the baby is a boy or girl. This research was conducted on various pregnancy forums.

Skull Appearance of Boys


In skull theory, the general belief is that baby boys tend to have bigger and blockier skulls than girls. Also, they have a defined brow ridge and a square chin, and the jaws of boys are more angled, and their cheekbones are more prominent.

Skull Appearance of Girls


The skull theory claims that in comparison to boys, the chins of baby girls are rounder and they have a wider angle to their jaws. Also, their foreheads are less sloping, and they have smaller brow ridges.

How accurate is the Skull Theory?

Skull theory supporters state its accuracy lies only between 70% and 95%. More research is needed to prove this theory’s viability as an early gender test. The reality is that peer-reviewed journals have little to no evidence about skull theory.

Anthropologists and archaeologists have different takes on skull theory. According to them, the differences between male and female skulls are only visible in adults. And these unique skull indicators generally become more defined following puberty and sexual maturation. These features are used for determining sex at the time of excavating archaeological sites and viewing human remains.

Such differences in male and female skulls are not truly visible in neonatal skulls, thus making skull theory an unreliable option.

Considering the views of anthropology and archaeology experts, it can be understood why skull theory is a great point to begin a conversation. But it should not be depended upon for genuinely ascertaining a baby’s gender.

There is one more fact that goes against the skull theory. Skulls vary greatly between different racial groups and between the sexes.

Skull theory is not the only fun method to try and predict a baby’s gender before a 20-week ultrasound scan. Nub Theory and the ancient Chinese birth predictor are some other similar methods. Nub theory considers the direction the genital tubercle is pointing for sex determination. At the same time, the Chinese birth predictor uses the mother’s age and the month of conception for it. Ramzi Theory is yet another similar method, and it uses the location of the placenta during early pregnancy ultrasounds to predict the baby’s sex. All these methods have no scientific basis. So they can’t be relied upon for your baby’s sex determination.

What are the more reliable methods for baby sex determination?

Now you have discovered that skull theory is more of a fun and less of a reliable method. Your next obvious question is going to be this. Are there more reliable ways to learn about my baby’s sex if I can’t wait till the 20-week anatomy scan?

The answer is yes; these ways do exist. One of them is the testing conducted alongside the nuchal translucency scan.

Let us first tell you more about the nuchal translucency scan.

NT or nuchal translucency scan is an optional test usually completed between the 11th and 14th week of pregnancy. Non-invasive in nature, this scan is primarily used for screening for any abnormalities during your baby’s development.

NT scan is specifically performed to measure the size of the clear tissue that lies at the back of a baby’s neck. This tissue is known as nuchal translucency.

If there is excessive clear space, this may indicate a genetic condition such as Down Syndrome or the presence of one of the various chromosomal abnormalities that may prove fatal to your baby.

The NT scan can also include a blood test to screen the baby for chromosomal issues further. This particular blood test can also accurately determine your baby’s sex.

Both NT scans and blood tests are optional. You may have to specifically request the test unless your age is more than 35 years at the time of delivery or your doctors feel that you carry a higher risk of having a baby with a health complication.

Conclusion:


There are galore of non-medical myths that promise to accurately predict your baby’s sex, including the skull theory. But there are only a few ways to predict a baby’s gender accurately, and they have a scientific basis. And these ways are the early blood test done between the 11th and 14th week of pregnancy and the 20th-week anatomy scan. One worth-mentioning point here is that even scientific-based tests do not give 100% accurate results. So be prepared for the surprise when your newborn baby lands in your arms for the first time.

If you want to determine your baby’s gender through a scientific-based method in Livermore, DigiBaby is the ideal place for it. Our services are also available in Woodridge and Mesa locations. We have specialist medical professionals and the latest diagnostic equipment in our ultrasound facilities. It will help to give you a smooth, safe and satisfying medical experience during your pregnancy. So why wait? Contact us today to explain your unique diagnostic needs.

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What Are The Benefits Of Doing A Pregnancy 3D Or 4D Ultrasound?

What Are The Benefits Of Doing A Pregnancy 3D Or 4D Ultrasound?

Ultrasounds are conducted during pregnancy to assess the health and development of the child growing in the mother’s womb. These help to detect and diagnose early any illnesses, abnormalities, or complications in the child. So early treatment can be started by the doctors and undesirable contingencies can be prevented in the child.

 

Women having low risk and complication-free pregnancies usually have at least one ultrasound as a part of their routine prenatal care. But older women and those with complications will generally have more ultrasounds. These ultrasounds are most often two-dimensional, also called 2D, and they provide a picture image of the fetus. 2D ultrasound creates outlines and flat-looking images which are used for seeing the baby’s body and internal organs. 

 

Should Pregnant Women Worry About X-Rays?

 

Apart from 2D ultrasounds, 3D and 4D Ultrasounds are also being performed on pregnant women nowadays. 3D and 4D ultrasounds are not standard prenatal tests. They are mostly done for non-medical reasons. It is purely optional for women to get them done or avoid them altogether.

 

Before we dive into the benefits of 3D and 4D ultrasounds, let us first know what ultrasounds basically do? And what are 3D and 4D ultrasounds?

 

All ultrasounds make use of sound waves to create a picture. Unlike x-rays which use ionizing radiation, ultrasounds use non-ionizing radiation for image creation. So they don’t have the same risks as x-rays.

 

For doing an ultrasound, a sonographer puts a specific gel on the mother’s belly. It helps to carry the sound waves into the body. The sonographer then holds a probe/transducer against the belly and moves it around to get an image. These waves bounce off internal organs and fluids. And a computer converts these echoes into a two-dimensional image or a cross-sectional view of the fetus on the screen.

3D Ultrasound

What is a pregnancy 3D or 4D ultrasound?

 

3D Ultrasound

In a 3D ultrasound, multiple pictures of the baby are taken in 2D at different angles. Then they are combined to create a 3D image effect. A baby looks better in 3D images than in flatter 2D images. That’s why parents enjoy looking at 3D images.   

 

4D Ultrasound

In a 4D ultrasound, pictures are made in real-time. Consequently, parents are able to see the activities their child is performing in real-time. They can view the child moving legs and arms, opening and closing eyes, sucking the thumb, smiling, or yawning. These pictures show movements like in a video. 

 

 

4D ultrasounds are most often performed for entertainment purposes and not for medical reasons. They enable parents to have a wonderful bonding experience with their growing child and have great memories.

 

3D Ultrasound Benefits

 

·         Images produced by 3D ultrasound provide a better view of fetal heart structures that can’t be achieved with 2D ultrasound

·         Helps in diagnosing fetal face defects like cleft lip

·         Facilitates diagnosis of neural defects and fetal musculoskeletal issues

·         A standard view of the plane can be obtained in less time 

·         The recorded volume data can be stored for better diagnosis and expert advice

·         Easy to study and understand

 

4D Ultrasound Benefits

 

·         Helps parents build a more intense relationship with their child

·         Enables fetal heart screening and diagnosis in a shorter time

·         The recorded data can be stored for expert review

·         Shares 3D ultrasound benefits like examination of the fetal heartbeat, placental localization, and evaluation of fetal growth and well-being

 

Risks Involved

The medical opinion on the safety of 3D and 4D ultrasounds is varied. As per WebMD, a leading health information services provider, studies suggest that 3D and 4D ultrasounds are safe. Similarly, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says though there are no known risks of ultrasounds for pregnant women. But they should be carefully used and performed only for medical purposes. 

 

How to Prepare for an Ultrasound During Pregnancy

 

As per Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an ultrasound on entering the body heats the tissues slightly. In some cases, this can create small pockets of gas in tissues or body fluids. The long-term effects of this gas accumulation are not known. 

 

Groups like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine have voiced caution. They say that excessive exposure to any ultrasound may not be good for the baby. Performing an ultrasound only for seeing the baby’s face may not be a good idea especially, at a commercial ultrasound center. This is because the center may or may not have highly skilled technicians.

 

Personnel at commercial ultrasound centers that offer keepsake ultrasounds may not be adequately trained. Consequently, they may fail to identify any abnormalities or other potential complications in your child. So there is a risk of missing a diagnosis.

 

Before getting done a 3D or 4D ultrasound, you are advised to consult your obstetrician/gynecologist. And seek his opinion about the pros, cons, and risks associated with these ultrasounds.

 

Now you know that a 3D or 4D ultrasound lets you see how your baby looks while growing inside the womb. And observe his various activities. Are you really interested in getting done a 3D or 4D ultrasound? Then get it performed from an established and reputed 4D Ultrasound California Center like DigiBaby. It has got state of the art ultrasound equipment and well-trained and experienced medical practitioners and sonographers. 

 

While doing a pregnancy 3D or 4D ultrasound on you, our technicians will ensure you get the best, safe, satisfying, and enjoyable experience. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get this ultrasound done at our facility. It will help you to build a great bonding with your child and have beautiful memories to cherish and treasure forever.

Also Read: The First Ultrasound Test During Pregnancy